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Supply chains, medical equipment and more: Murray hopes bill will better prepare us for next public health emergency

Shoppers line up to buy supplies at Costco Wholesale in New Jersey in 2020 as fears over COVID-19 grew around the world. Sen. Patty Murray hopes a bill she's working on will help the country be better prepared for future public health emergencies.
Tayfun Coskun
/
AP File
Shoppers line up to buy supplies at Costco Wholesale in New Jersey in 2020 as fears over COVID-19 grew around the world. Sen. Patty Murray hopes a bill she's working on will help the country be better prepared for future public health emergencies.

The pandemic is, of course, not over.

But as the response continues, discussion has begun in Congress over the next threat to public health, whatever that may be.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, is chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She and ranking member Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, have released a draft of what they call the PREVENT Pandemics Act.

The measure looks at ways to strengthen medical supply chains, bolster the public health workforce and fight misinformation. It would also require the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be confirmed by the Senate.

The goal, Murray says, is to apply the lessons from this pandemic to future threats to public health.

Right now, the legislation is in draft form — it hasn't been filed yet. Murray spoke about the proposal with KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco. Listen to their conversation above.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
Posey Gruener is a former KNKX producer who worked on All Things Considered and Sound Effect.